Signatures, seals, ancient writings and other curiosities: in this section, the papers themselves tell their stories. Explore the talking documents of Generali’s Historical Archives, from the handwritten curriculum of Kafka to the Kurrentschrift (Gothic cursive) of many 19th century documents, from precious 17th century manuscripts to the wax seals on early minutes and the signatures of many prominent people on the Italian and international landscape.

Decree of the Venetian Republic (Venice, 11 April 1848), detail

…and the Eagle became a Lion

The revolutionary movements that shook Europe in 1848 also struck Generali. Since January 1833, with governmental approval, the company founded in 1831 as “Assicurazioni Generali Austro-Italiche” had operated under the Habsburg double-headed eagle symbol. On 28 March 1848, the Trieste management discussed the need for a different image despite being less sympathetic towards Italophile strains ...

Building at Via Sallustiana 51 (1927)

Latinitas of INA: from Providentiae Munus to Novus Decor

It is widely known that the custom of decorating buildings with inscriptions in both Latin and Italian was commonplace in public and private institutions during the first several decades of the 1900s. That the Fascist regime used this particular custom as a means of propaganda is also a well-known fact. These affirmations can be further ...

Trading cards

Spagnolette trading cards

First created to store tobacco, the trading cards inserted into packs of spagnolette (a name for cigarettes in the 19th century, a name traditionally carried forth at regional level well into the 20th century) became sought after collector’s items and unique advertising tools in the 1900s.

The cigarettes were initially sold in bulk by weight, and ...

Automatic policy dispenser [1898]

What is this strange… thing?

In the corridors of the company building in Rome’s Piazza Venezia there is a strange object on display that has aroused much curiosity in visitors, not so much because of its features but because of the extraordinary avant-garde technique employed: it is the ancestor of modern vending machines!

More specifically, it is ...

Franz Kafka's job application (Prague, 02.10.1907) / ph. Duccio Zennaro

Story of a special clerk: Franz Kafka at Generali

What was Franz Kafka dreaming about in his youth when working at Assicurazioni Generali in Prague? What did he write between 1907 and 1908? Handwritten documents conserved in the personnel files of the Assicurazioni Generali Historical Archive tell the unknown story of a special clerk: from his signature to his curriculum, to discover ...

Feige Gottlieb's life policy (Czernowitz, January 31, 1862) with particulars of the Kurrentschrift certificate / ph. Duccio Zennaro

Exploring old handwriting. When German Gothic was written at Generali

In an archive with a Middle European character, German Gothic documents are a must.

The minutes of top corporate management bodies of 1835 testify to the contrast between the first Generali chairman, Giovanni Cristoforo Ritter de Záhony from Frankfurt, and legal consultant Giovanni Battista de Rosmini, who was to head the group ...